Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Grant Dixon's Photos worth a look

Grant Dixon, well known photographer, has a lovely website. The Tasmanian photos are particularly good, and evoke the same view I often have of the Tasmanian wilderness. Great job!

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Hartz Peak - 24 November 2007

Skink on rocks at Hartz Peak - 24 Nov 2007Oh no, yet another walk to Hartz Peak. (Map here) Actually it was conceived as a sunrise photographic expedition. Unfortunately I didn't manage to get up when I woke at 4am, which would have meant a walk start around 6am. I eventually got to Hartz at 8am, after pondering the weather observations which identified fairly strong winds. There was a strong cold breeze blowing, but the sun was also very warm, making for some hot/cold switches as the walk proceeded. Views were variable - bit hazy and cloudy at times, but clearing during the morning.
Waratah, Telopea truncata, Hartz Mountains - 24 Nov 2007

The waratah (Telopea truncata) is out, and it really adds an attractive sparkle of colour to the bush. Lower down along the road it's fully open, and higher up along the track it's just opening now. Well worth a look.

On the way back I met an old couple. We exchanged pleasantries, and he commented how lovely it was, then asked me if I'd been there before. Indeed I had, I said. He said they had too, "hundreds of times, never get tired of it". See, I'm not the only weird one.

Friday, 23 November 2007

No comment

Burnie Port woodchip pile - 20 Nov 2007Of course, the pulpmill will replace woodchip exports...NOT. These liars have led everyone on. It seems that you had to fully understand the RFA, in detail, to deduce that Gunns can now export just as many woodchips as ever, AND turn about as much living, breathing, Tasmanian forest into pulp (not even paper). They can't sell the woodchips, but they THINK they can sell the pulp, to approximately double the cut of Tasmanian forests. It all still ends up wiping bottoms somewhere else.

On another matter, I see Bryan Green doesn't use computers or email. Oh great, this wacker purported to "help" lead our state. Heaven help us.

"The court has heard that Mr Green did not use computers or emails and relied on Mr Nicholson to receive correspondence relating to his portfolios."

So we'll all trust his judgment on forestry matters won't we?

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Egg Islands again

The channel between the north and south Egg Islands, Huon River, Tasmania - 9 Sep 2007This is an early morning view of the channel between the north and south Egg Islands, which featured in recent TV coverage, and on this blog, as well as being the subject of a concerted effort at conservation.

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Lost World - 17 November 2007

View from within a dolerite overhang at Lost World, Mt Wellington - 17 Nov 2007Walked down to Lost World on Mt Wellington (Map here) in the rain today. I've never been there before. I did expect it to be a bit of a challenge, and it was, especially in the wet. It was quite clear at Big Bend, but the clouds were sitting just below Mt Arthur. It started to drizzle, and then settled in to light but soaking rain. The walk is steep and bouldery, and it is not at all easy to work out where to go in places. There are a couple of points at which you can turn south from the track and head into the Lost World, but I'm not sure which is more correct or easier, probably you can go wherever you like, as long as you can get there safely. In the mist it was difficult to get a clear sense of the geography, so a return in clear weather would be indicated.

There's a climbing guide to the area here, which may also provide some better explanations about the easiest way to access Lost World for us non-climbers.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Some history

Food List
Ten to eleven days - for a fairly strenuous trip.





Tea 4 Sugar 2 0
Salt 2 Boiled Bacon 2 8
Dried Vegetables 2 0 Biscuits (Vita Wheat) 3 0
Cheese 1 0 Rolled Oats 1 4
Macaroni 1 0 Barley Sugar 8
Raisins and Sultanas 1 0 Dates 1 0
Dried Fruit 1 0 Egg Powder 1 0
Sunshine Milk 12 Butter 1 8
Oxo Cubes 4 Chocolate 8
Peanut Butter 8



Drawn from the Tasmanian Tramp, No 7. December 1946, the magazine of the Hobart Walking Club.

They were pretty hardy souls in those days!

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Hartz Peak (and Lake...) - 10 Nov 2007

North end of Hartz Lake, showing easy ridge - 10 Nov 2007Alex and I set out today to go to Hartz Lake, and maybe beyond, (Map here) depending on the thickness of the scrub. Once you get there, the ridge on the northern side of the lake is easy walking and gives a new view of Hartz Peak. I'd like to get out onto the ridge on the western side of the lake, and I'll have to go back exploring another time.

We headed downhill from Hartz Pass, narrowly missing meeting Polly, Viv and John, and some other people, who were returning from Hartz Peak. We did meet them later near the Waratah Shelter. The track is rough-ish, but OK for a while. Further down the hill it becomes quite overgrown with the lovely scoparia. For an 11-year-old, it was a bit much, and we hadn't even got off the track. We backtracked to the Pass and went up Hartz Peak.

Alex on Hartz Peak - 10 Nov 2007Good views today, with some attractive clouds around too. There was some rubbish at the peak, which is really quite unusual. Someone with a very poor attitude has visited since last week. I suspect it was today, the sandwich crusts in glad-wrap seemed fairly fresh, although I didn't actually taste them. The abandoned, empty plastic 250ml drink bottle must have been too heavy for someone to carry out. Hey, DON'T RUBBISH MY FAVOURITE PLACE YOU BOGANS!

Alex taking photos on Hartz Peak, Adamsons Peak behind - 10 Nov 2007Alex enjoyed the day. I think he went up there first, on my back, when he was about 18 months old, maybe 20. He first walked up it when he was 5. I recall it taking us 5 hours up and back. He was a bit tired today, but he can actually go up the hills as fast as me when we're both on a good day, and he can go down quicker. I think his ankles work better than mine, although he reckons his knees are wobbly. He should try mine when I haven't been exercising enough.

Just a final aside. Prior to this year, I estimated I'd climbed Hartz Peak about 40 times. Looking back at my blog, it appears I may have been 7 times in the last 12 months. Maybe I'm weird! I think I'll label the Hartz Peak climbs from here on. So if it was 40 times before the last 12 months, it's now 47. It could be more, but I'm sure it isn't less. OK, I'm weird.

Sunday, 4 November 2007

More oily puddles

Puddles in the Tasmanian bush often have an oily film. I've put up a photo before. It is (generally) not pollution, but is an iron oxide film caused by water interacting with the iron in the dolerite rock. This example in a muddy spot was particularly noticeable.

Iron oxide film in puddle, Hartz Mountains - 3 Nov 2007

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Hartz Peak - 3 November 2007

Mt Picton and Hartz Lake from Hartz Peak - 3 November 2007Walked up Hartz Peak today. (Map here.) The forecast for Hobart didn't seem great, rain developing later. The forecast for Strahan was better. Anyway, it looked less grey to the southwest than the northeast, so Hartz Peak won over Mt Wellington. Turned out to be a good choice.

Federation Peak from near the Hartz Peak track - 3 November 2007Very still conditions at Hartz, which were evident on their weather station readings before I left home. Quite a lot of wind readings were showing as "Calm", essentially minimal breeze. I walked up Hartz Peak, only passing a couple of other groups of two during the day. The weather stayed fine, the breezes generally gentle, and I managed to sit on the summit in a shirt for a while. The views were good, with Precipitous Bluff in some wreathes of cloud, but Federation clear, and views to Mt Anne not too bad.

Visitor Shelter, Hartz Mountains - 3 November 2007The new visitor shelter has been open for a while now. It's a pretty good place to sit and eat, look out at the scenery, get ready for a walk etc. There are water tanks to fill bottles, two toilets, tables and benches, including one outdoors. It's quite noticeable as you come back to the car park, but it isn't offensive, so overall I think it's a pretty good job.

The Varnished Gum (Eucalyptus vernicosa), Hartz Mountains - 3 November 2007The Varnished Gum (Eucalyptus vernicosa) is found here. Described as one of the most extreme of all eucalypts, it was once exploited for its oil. "In the early 1900s a new industry supplemented the logging activities on the Hartz Plateau - the extraction of eucalyptus oil from the Varnished Gum (Eucalyptus vernicosa). The branches of this, the smallest eucalypt in Australia, were collected and transported by packhorse to the road's end where they were transferred to carts. From there the branches were taken to Geeveston for shipping to Hobart. The oil was then distilled and used in a number of medicinal preparations." From the Hartz Mountains National Park Day Walk Map, 1992.